|The Colonized #2 (IDW, May 2013)|
Art by Dave Sim
Chris Ryall's description of this one was (from his 11/20 fax):
"I love that first cover. If you want to keep a similar creepy '50s-movie vibe for the next one, that'd be great with me. For this one if there can be an alien and one of the humans (the lead guy with the bushy moustache in the #1 pages) being menaced by a zombie horse ridden by a zombie human, that could work for me. But, as always, I defer to anything else you might have in mind, too."
Thank God for Google Image! You can literally just type in "horse skeleton" and there you go: it looks like a giant colourful Lost Equine Graveyard. So I basically just picked the best angle they had -- a rearing horse and then went looking for "horse and rider" -- show jumping -- and found the one that was the closest to that angle and then tweaked it so the flesh and bone dovetailed as closely as possible. Then I drew the guy in the foreground and his rifle from Drew Moss' image in #1 adding in a battery powered lantern to (hopefully) add some dazzle to the exposed bones on the horse and rider. So, I did the guy first, pencil and ink, and then the horse and rider. Because the alien doesn't overlap the horse and rider, I did him third. I think the first folds I did on the space suit were on the left thigh with my Series 7 #2 brush and they landed just right. I don't know why, but they did. And that meant I could finish the rest of the space suit and helmet at a higher level of sharpness than I'm usually able to hit. Luck of the draw.
I used birch trees because birch trees are very versatile backdrops. You get a nice black and white pattern that you can either have "go gray" by rendering it as pen strokes or just use a solid black. A lot of it's going to fill in when it's reduced but there should be enough "fuzz" left to get the idea across.
On the "topper" piece, I tried to get an animation effect on the spotlights coming in to the left and through the "ALIENS" lettering. In retrospect, I think I should have extended the beam between the "A" and the "L" between the "L" and the "I" and the "I" and the "E". TECHNICALLY, the beam illuminating the alien figure occupies a "panel" between the "L" and the "N" which is what I stuck with, but it makes the previous light beam too short to register as that.
Live and learn.